How to get your employees to report misconduct

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According to the Alberta-based consultant, HR professionals should give employees two options – either talk to HR, managers or superiors, or go through a confidential HR hotline.

“Having a strong code of conduct and an independent HR hotline available to team members can help alert the company to and reduce the possibility of inappropriate or illegal activity,” she explains.

“A speak-out or HR hotline provides a confidential way for team members to report issues to management without the fear of retaliation,” she adds.

Failure to fully support whistleblowing can have a detrimental effect on organizations, she warns.

“Research consistently demonstrates that when employees see inappropriate behavior such as harassment it causes low morale, higher stress and team member turnover,” says Carreau.
 
“It is always better to have a culture where an organization investigates all allegations of misconduct,” she continues. “Without doing this organizations risk team members not coming forward when they see offside behaviour because they don’t think the company will do anything.

“This attitude is even more pervasive in organizations where team members fear reprisal by other team members or the organization itself.”

Are companies putting themselves at risk by failing to offer strong support systems for employees who report unethical behavior? Share your thoughts below.
 
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  • Larry Dawson on 2015-11-30 4:13:19 PM

    It seems the majority of whistleblowing isn't about turning in peers - it's about turning in managers, supervisors or executives who are guilty of misconduct. Whistleblowing on a peer employee rarely has the potential to terminate employment while reporting a higher-up for profligate expense account abuse, misuse of company assets, or harassing behaviour more often than not leads to almost immediate employment consequences for a line employee. A study in 2010 dealing with nurses in Ontario documented the existence of the "old boy" network which in almost every instance moved swiftly and decisively to discredit whistleblowers and discipline or terminate them for contrived performance issues, including manufacturing false discipline records and backdating the false documentation onto personnel files, retaliatory reassignments, cutting hours of work, denying benefits and other retribution. Unfortunately, in nearly all cases, HR was either part of the problem, or, where HR attempted to bring the matters to senior management's attention, their efforts were stifled or in some cases even HR personnel experienced retaliation. It's an established culture and it will take years to change it.

  • Shine on 2015-12-01 2:05:23 AM

    Really helpful thanks.

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